Bliss Carman

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Bliss Carman

Bliss Carman (April 15 1861June 8, 1929) was a preeminent Canadian poet. Born William Bliss Carman, he published under his mother's surname, Bliss.


  • Here's to the day when it is May
    And care as light as a feather,
    When your little shoes and my big boots
    Go tramping over the heather.
    • A Toast, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • Here’s to the day
    That wondrous May,
    A-roaming through the heather,
    When her little shoes
    And my big boots
    Were out on the hills together.

    And here’s to the night
    Of our delight,
    That held the stars in tether,
    When her little shoes
    And my big boots
    Were under the bed together.
    • The full toast, as reported in New York Sun. Quoted in John Coldwell Adams, Confederation Voices, 2007.
  • There paused to shut the door
    A fellow called the Wind,
    With mystery before,
    And reticence behind.
    • At the Granite Gate, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • The glad indomitable sea,
    The strong white sun.
    • A Sea Child, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • The greatest joy in nature is the absence of man.
    • New York Times review of Mr. Carman's Prose; A Volume Of Little Essays By The Canadian Poet. (1903).
  • Our fathers died for England at the outposts of the world;
    Our mothers toiled for England where the settlers' smoke upcurled;
    By packet, steam and rail,
    By portage, trek and trail,
    They bore a thing called Honour in hearts that did not quail,
    Till the twelve great winds of heaven saw the scarlet sign unfurled.

    And little did they leave us of fame or land or gold;
    Yet they gave us great possessions in a heritage untold;
    For they said, 'Ye shall be clean,
    Nor ever false or mean,
    For God and for your country and the honour of your Queen,
    Till ye meet the death that waits you with your plighted faith unsold'.
    • Ode on the Coronation of King Edward, quoted in Our Empire Story (1906).
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